The Group Travel Leader

JUL-AUG 2017

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E D I S C OV E R T H E F L AVO R S O F AU T U M N AT T H E S E E V E N T S A N D AT T R AC T I O N S A L L T H I N G S P U M P K I N Few things say "fall" like pumpkins, the brilliant orange gourds that are used for decoration as much as for cooking. Pumpkin patches abound in destina- tions all over the country, but some local farms take the seasonal celebration up a notch with large-scale festivals that offer an abundance of pumpkin products. WALTERS' PUMPKIN FEST: In eastern Kansas, not far from Wichita, this pumpkin festival is a combina- tion of food and inventive experiences. Visitors can sample pumpkin salsa, pumpkin chili and pumpkin soup, as well as other farm-fresh foods available in the on-site shop. They can also watch as a PumpGun cannon blasts pumpkins hundreds of feet into the air. THE GREAT PUMPKIN FARM FALL FESTIVAL: A short drive away from Buffalo, New York, the town of Clarence is home to the Great Pumpkin Farm, which hosts a daily festival during the fall season. In addi- tion to seeing and shopping for pumpkins themselves, visitors can take part in pie-eating competitions, pumpkin-decoration classes and other programs, as well as sampling from a wide array of pumpkin foods. SOUTH JERSEY PUMPKIN SHOW: Beyond its urban centers, New Jersey is a fertile farming state, and the South Jersey Pumpkin Show in Woodstown focuses on the abundant pumpkins and other fall produce in the area. Groups can check out the state's larg- est pumpkin pie, taste dessert contest entries and see prize-winning pumpkins that weigh more than 1,000 pounds. T he only thing better than seeing fall is tast- ing it. Fall foliage brings travelers out in throngs, flocking to destinations that boast brilliantly colored woodlands during the autumn season. But if your groups only admire the colors from the highway, they're missing out on the wonderful flavors of fall, which are a big part of what makes autumn an ideal season for travel. From pumpkins and cider to chili, maple syrups and signature Oktoberfests, fall brings distinctive seasonal foods, celebrations and culinary experiences. And travelers will find opportunities to experience the bounty of the season all around the country and the world, not just in areas known for fall colors. Here are five food and drink experiences to seek out as you plan your group's travel, as well as multiple ideas about where you can experience each. ABOVE: YOUNG VISITORS ENJOY WALTERS' PUMPKIN FEST. OPPOSITE PAGE: TRAVELERS CAN TASTE FRESH APPLE CIDER IN THE BASQUE REGION OF SPAIN (TOP) OR AT ORCHARDS AROUND GRAND RAPIDS (BOTTOM). Courtesy Walters' Pumpkin Patch Artwork by David Brown

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